I was seven months pregnant with our twin boys when my husband, Justin, was admitted to the hospital with the cancer that would ultimately take his life. After being admitted, his health rapidly declined and we didn’t think he would make it out. With many prayers and a miracle, he lived to see the birth of our sons and enjoy a few precious months with them. The night before Justin passed away, we agreed he should write letters to the boys. Up until that point we had never discussed the topic of letters, because we knew the moment we did, we were accepting he was going to die. I remember his health being particularly poor that day, and I think I knew deep down it was the last night we would be together. He didn’t even have the chance to write the letters.
Justin and I had known each other pretty much our whole lives. We were friends in high school and even better friends in college. He always had a crush on me, but I wanted to be just friends. After writing letters back and forth during his mission, things started to change. He got home and we went on a couple dates, but timing still felt off. I ended up going on a mission a couple months later. After I got home from my mission we slowly started to talk again. Finally our timing aligned, and we started to date. We were married in May 2013, and I couldn’t have been happier with the way my life had turned out. It was easy marrying my best friend. It felt so right, and we were so happy.
A couple months after we were married, Justin was complaining about his chest hurting. He went to urgent care, and that’s when they found the tumor.
IT FELT LIKE THE ROOM WAS MOVING IN SLOW MOTION WHEN I HEARD THE WORD CANCER COME OUT OF THE DOCTOR’S MOUTH. HOW COULD THIS BE HAPPENING? WE WERE JUST ABOUT TO START OUR LIVES TOGETHER.
I had never been more terrified of the future. For a person with extreme anxiety, this was the worst case scenario. Within days, our lives were turned upside down. We moved back home to live with my parents, and Justin started treatments right away.
After months of enduring chemotherapy and going through surgery to remove the tumor, the cancer was gone! I felt so free and happy! The dark cloud of despair and gloom dissipated. Justin had his life back, and we were ready to live it to the fullest.
He was in remission for less than one year when they found a new tumor on a routine scan. I was so defeated. I felt every worried emotion one could feel. I immediately thought of God. I wanted to hate Him and never turn towards Him again. All these questions started to flow through my mind: How could He let this happen? We were good people doing what we were supposed to do, right? Why would God let this come back? I was once again consumed with darkness and despair.
After taking some time to process what had just happened, I started to think about the first time Justin went through cancer.